New Delhi/Bengaluru, July 16 (IANS) Two cental ministers asserted on Saturday that the 148 Indian athletes and the officials accompanying them who are participating in the World School Games at Trabzon in Turkey, which has been rocked by a failed coup attempt, are safe.
“There are 148 Indian children and 38 officials in Trabzon #Turkey. They are all safe,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted in New Delhi.
“The games are on. They will start returning in batches from 18th July,” she added.
Sports MInister Vijay Goel spoke in a similar manner in Bengaluru.
“I have contacted the MEA and India’s Ambassador to Turkey and they have confirmed that the athletes…are safe”.
At least 161 people were killed and more than 1,500 injured in an attempted military coup overnight in Turkey’s major cities.
By Saturday morning, the military was beaten back by “People’s Power” and 2,839 officers and soldiers were detained, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.
The World Schools Championships started in Trabzon, a city on Turkey’s Black Sea coast, on July 11 and are scheduled to end on July 18.
Meanwhile, a notice on the International School Sport Federation (ISF) website stated that the organisers have decided to keep the participants and officials within the Games village.
“In light of the events currently ongoing in Turkey, the Organising Committee and the ISF have decided to keep all delegations in the Olympic Village until further notice,” the notice stated.
“We will keep you informed,” it added.
Meanwhile, Goel, accompanied by Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general Injeti Srinivas, visited the SAI centre to take stock of the progress of national camps preparing for the Rio Olympics.
The minister wished all athletes, including men’s hockey team, athletes (walkers, middle and long distance runners and relay team) and para athletes the best for the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics.
Around 120 Indian sportspersons are expected to take part in next month’s Olympics to be hosted in Rio de Janeiro from August 5 to 21.